Fresno Pacific University rallies against proposed aid cut

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A state proposal which would reduce Cal Grant aid at private universities has many students and parents worried. (KFSN)

A state proposal which would reduce Cal Grant aid at private universities has many students and parents worried.

Many families rely on financial aid like Cal Grants A, B and C to pay for college. Students at private universities like Fresno Pacific first dealt with a 6.5 percent cut to their Cal Grant aid two years ago. Paying the annual $26,000 tuition here posed a bigger challenge for many students. Fresno Pacific sophomore Karina Reyes said, "I work as a waitress at Denny's. I work graveyards. I also do internships to be involved and to help my way through college. It's just been a struggle."

The state has proposed an 11.3 percent cut to the Cal Grant program for incoming students at private schools. That would represent about a $1,000 cut for recipients at Fresno Pacific. School president Richard Kriegbaum said, "45 percent of the students right here at Fresno Pacific benefit from the Cal Grant program."

Students signed a #WeAreCalGrant banner to protest the proposed cut and will send it to Governor Brown. Fresno Pacific junior Janet Salcedo said, "I would be disappointed because I have siblings and cousins who want to go to college. We need to look out for future generations."

Assemblymember Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno) also signed the banner. Perea explained, "Whether you're a poor student, low-income student going to Fresno State, Fresno Pacific or USC you still have the same financial challenges." Perea said state lawmakers faced a June deadline to halt further cuts to the Cal Grant program.

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